Evolutionary Medicine: Infectious diseases

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode WMBY024-05
Vaknaam Evolutionary Medicine: Infectious diseases
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II a (31-01-2022 till 20-02-2022)
ECTS 5
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Evolutionary Medicine: Infectious diseases
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:

1) Describe the key differences and similarities between infectious disease agents from an evolutionary point of view.

2) Describe how evolutionary processes act on infectious diseases agents, and their potential outcomes.

3) Propose and discuss exogenous manipulations of evolutionary pressures to prevent or treat infectious diseases.

4) Debate the risks to human health associated with natural evolution of infectious agents and its exogenous manipulations.

5) Experiment and interpret phylogenetic trees and models to give insights into epidemiological processes.

6) Research, prepare and present an example on applied evolutionary thinking to infectious diseases.
Omschrijving Living at the expense of another organism creates a unique set of challenges, all deeply rooted in evolutionary biology. All viruses, but also some bacteria and eukaryotes exhibit parasitic lifestyles, sometimes even creating diseases in their hosts. When evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote that "nothing made sense except in the light of evolution", he might well have thought about infectious agents in particular. Evolution has a crucial impact on them, and these agents are also important players in the evolution of their hosts; as such they still represent today major threats in public health and agriculture.

This course will explore how evolution impacts these agents and the dynamics with their hosts. We will introduce fundamental notions on eco-evolutionary concepts applied to infectious diseases, and present the different agents in more detail. We will also discuss the principles and development of evolution-aware and evolution-proof counter-measures (drugs, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, etc.). All will be illustrated by applied examples. The course will cover a range of topics, such as:

• Similarity, differences, and diversity in pathogenic agents (bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic parasites) and quick introduction to vectors;
• Full spectrum of the symbiosis of these agents (from mutualistic to parasitic) and their interactions with the hosts (microbiome, immunology, virulence, transmission);
• Exogenous manipulation of evolutionary pressures, such as therapies, antimicrobials (and resistance), as well as vaccines;
• Epidemiological processes, from emergence to pandemics.

The Master course is suitable for any student interested in evolutionary medicine, evolutionary biology, microbiology, or a biomedical field.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Bijeenkomst (S), Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Practisch werk (PRC), Werkcollege (T)
(Tutored session and presentations are mandatory. Missing a tutored session without good reason will result in a 10% downgrade of the total grade)
Toetsvorm Opdracht (AST), Practisch werk (PR)
(Learning objectives 1, 2, 4 will be assessed via written assignments (pass/fail) in class, and a pass is mandatory. Learning objective 3 will be assessed via written assignment. Written assignment and presentations (learning objective 3, 5 and 6) must each receive a grade higher than 5.5.)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. S.J.J. Lequime
Docent(en) dr. ir. M.G.J. de Vos ,prof. dr. J. Falcao Salles , Guest lecturer ,dr. S.J.J. Lequime
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Scientific manuscripts Provided in course
Entreevoorwaarden The “Evolution Medicine – Infectious Diseases” course is part of the MSc Biology track. It therefore builds upon the requirement of students to have a Bachelors in Biology or a related field. In particular, the course builds upon the 2nd / 3rd year BSc course in Evolutionary Medicine, which provides a broad overview of how ecological and evolutionary thinking can advance understanding of human health and disease.

The course will be closely integrated with the following course units: Diseases of Affluence.
Opmerkingen
Opgenomen in
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